World Technology Environment Prize for 2006
- Hello Eric,
After reading your call for nominees for the WTN, the first person I
thought of was prof Jan Gehl from the Copenhagen school of architecture. For more then 20 years I know of his work and find it an enormous support in designing space for people.
What he did was basic research on pedestrian movement and use of space, related to the design of the public realm.
He also related that design quality to the economic development of
streets. At present he is working on a more methodological approach on that field.
The reason that I think his work is so important, is because of the fact that all traffic movement is meant to facilitate us in visiting some public space. It is that space where a society finds its roots and where people learn what it means to live in a free country and take responsibily towards others users.
With this design knowledge we can show the importance of the public
space and make clear what the present traffic system is destroying in terms of spatial and social quality.
In that way automatically faciltating other means of transport because
then its great to be in that space.
For instance in Copenhagen in November people still are sitting in the
streets on the terraces of Copenhagen, with blankets crawled around
them, just because it is fun just seeing other people and being there and it is his design quality that calls for that.
Even though I knew his books for years, I met him in January and we both had the idea that our developments even though starting from different points, where meeting in a mutual futural perspective where the traffic system is brought back to where it should facilitate our society again.